Take a mental trip with me for a moment back to the “glory days”. Back when we were young, carefree, and had endless amounts of energy. Our priorities then were going to school and having fun; most likely not in that order. It was also a time when we spent a large amount of time outside. During the school year, we’d play with friends as soon as school got out until it was time for dinner and homework. In the summer time I would get up early, have a huge breakfast, and then run out the door hearing mom yell, “Make sure you are home before the streetlights come on!” Does anyone else remember hearing those words? We were being introduced to our first “interval timer”! Today, we use fancy watches and Gym Boss tools – back then, the timer was the common streetlight. Get outside, play and interact with your friends, if you get hungry or hurt, come home, otherwise we’ll see you for dinner when the street lights come on.
Sadly, this is not the norm anymore. Most of us are behind a desk 8+ hours a day and our kids are seated behind computer and gaming screens for more hours then I care to count. Not surprisingly, disease and obesity are at all time highs. It’s time for a change. While we can do a number of things, one simple solution is to get back outside! It’s not only healthy for us from a physical standpoint (fresh air, Vitamin D, etc.), but from a mental standpoint as well. I realize the majority reading this work inside and most likely can’t change that, so why not at least move your exercise outside? Even 1-2 workouts a week will help. This will get you 30-60 minutes of time outside of the four walls of your job and your house. It will get you back in nature, where we used to spend a lot of our time…back when we were much happier and healthier too.
There are literally thousands of different outdoor activities you could participate in, depending on your location. You can simply go to the local playground or park and “play”…here’s a playground session I did a while back:
If you want an outdoor session with a little more structure and no equipment, here you go…all you need is some open space and 40-50 minutes of time.
Station 1: Bodyweight Squats – 20 reps
Station 2: Bodyweight Pushups – 20 reps
Station 3: Lateral Jumps (skater plyos) – 20 reps (10/leg)
Station 4: Side-Lying Hip Hikes – 20 reps/side
Station 5: Sprint – 60 yards
*Complete all 5 stations before resting. Recover for 90-120 seconds and then repeat the 5-station circuit again 4-6 times.
*Be sure to start with a 10-minute dynamic warm-up to ensure your body is prepped and ready to work.
*Be sure to end with a 10-minute cool down/stretching session to ensure your body is relaxed and recovered from your workout.
With the warmer spring weather approaching, the excuse of bad weather is no longer valid. Now, I don’t expect everyone to run out this weekend and play, crawl, and jump around at their local park (although, wouldn’t we be in a better place if we all did?). I’ve mentioned it before in previous articles – you must make fitness a priority in your daily routine if you expect to attain any of your health and fitness goals. If you have a dog, run around with him for 20-30 minutes. If you have children that you take to the park, play with them and climb and crawl on the equipment that they play on (If it’s safe for adults to be on of course). My point is to make moving as common as putting on your pants everyday. Find “sneaky” ways to incorporate it into your day. If we can all find a few moments each and every day to get up, be active and move, then we will all be much better off in all aspects of our lives.
About Doug Balzarini
Doug Balzarini, CSCS, MMA-CC, is the owner of DB Strength, which provides fitness training, education, and resources. He is also the strength and conditioning coach for Alliance MMA where he works with UFC Champion Dominick Cruz, Bellator Champion Michael Chandler, Phil Davis, Brandon Vera, Travis Browne, Ross Pearson, Alexander Gustafsson, and more. Prior to starting his own business, Doug worked at Fitness Quest 10 as a personal trainer, strength coach, and Operations Director for Todd Durkin Enterprises (TDE).
He has completed some graduate work in Biomechanics at SDSU and has obtained multiple certifications including ACE, NSCA-CSCS, MMA-CC, TFW Level 1, TRX instructor training, RIP training, EFI Gravity instructor training, LIFT Sandbag Certification, and FMS training. He has produced his 2 DVD projects on strength training for combat athletes, appeared in many fitness videos and articles, and was a coach on “The Ultimate Fighter” FOX TV show in 2012.
For more information please visit www.dbstrength.com.